Teacher Allegedly Told Biracial Student Black People ‘Are Not Smart’

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March 20, 2015 3:03 pm
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A teacher in Brentwood, Calif. allegedly told a biracial student that black people “are not smart,” television station KCBS reported on Thursday.

The student’s father, who is suing the school district, alleged that his daughter’s teacher used the N-word, said black people “are not smart” and said President Abraham Lincoln was an “(N-word) lover.”

KCBS reported that, according to court papers obtained by City News Service, the student was identified as Maggie B. in a suit brought against the Los Angeles Unified School District on Wednesday by her father Shawn B. The television station also reported that the suit identified Maggie B. as half black and half white.

Eighth-grade history teacher Steven Carnine at Paul Revere Charter Middle School and Magnet Center reportedly held a discussion about racial stereotypes on Jan. 16, the suit alleged. The conversation, which occurred the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, addressed the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown who was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., KCBS reported.

The lawsuit alleged that during the discussion, Carnine said Brown “was a thug and he got what he deserved,” according to KCBS. Carnine also reportedly made generalized disparagements about black people.

“Black people are judged for not being smart because they are not smart,” Carnine said, according to the suit. “A lot of them are just athletes.”

The court papers noted that Carnine also described a hypothetical scenario in which two black men were walking behind him at night. He reportedly said he’s “immediately going to be scared and think they are either going to steal from me or hurt me.”

The suit alleged that while making these comments Carnine was looking directly at Maggie B.

TPM left a message seeking comment from Carnine on Friday at the school. It was not immediately returned.

The teacher also is alleged to have made several other racist comments, according to the suit. Carnine allegedly also said: “We all know Jews like to hoard their money,” and “People didn’t like Lincoln because he was a (N-word) lover.”

Shawn B. said in the suit he’d attempted to resolve the issue with the school’s principal but was told to meet with the teacher who was “old school.” He maintained that he was also told that there was “no need to go to the press” with the issue, KCBS reported.

The LAUSD told KCBS, via a spokesperson, that it had “no comment on the complaint, which we are still reviewing.” The school district also noted that “District policy is adamant that all students are to be treated with respect. The safety of students is L.A. Unified’s highest priority.”

Image via Shutterstock / hxdbzxy

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